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Home > Resources > North Carolina Trees > Mockernut Hickory

Mockernut Hickory

(Carya tomentosa Nutt.)

  Mockernut hickory is sometimes referred to as white, whitcheart or big-bud hickory. it is common on well-drained soils throughout the state. The tree occasionally reaches 100 feet in height and 3 feet in diameter, but it averages 50 to 70 feet tall and I to 2 feet in diameter.

Mockernut hickory leaves are 8 to 12 inches long with seven to nine (rarely five) thin, sharp-pointed, finely toothed leaflets that are dark green above and a hairy orange-brown below. The nut is roundish to oval, 1 1/2 to 2 inches long, with a thick reddish-brown husk that splits almost to the base of the nut when ripe. The meat of the nut is sweet and is enclosed in a very thick shell.

The bark is dark gray to black, hard, closely and deeply furrowed, often appearing cross-furrowed or netted. The winter buds are large, 1/2 to 3/4 inch long, spherical or broadly egg-shaped and covered with downy, hard scales. New shoots are short, stout and more or less covered with a downy growth.

The wood is heavy, hard, tough and strong; it is white except for its comparatively small, dark brown heart -- hence the name white hickory. Mockernut hickory is used for tool handles and In sporting goods. This and the other hickories are very desirable as both forest and shade trees.
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